Donald Trump's administration hits Russian Federation with new sanctions over spy poisoning

     TARGETED Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok

FACEBOOK GETTY TARGETED Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok

Washington had previously expelled roughly 60 Russian Federation diplomats in response to a nerve-agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal.

The Trump administration said Wednesday it would impose extensive new sanctions against Russia, banning a wide range of exports and other measures, as punishment for its use of a nerve agent in an attempt in March to assassinate British citizen and ex-Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

The sanctions would cover sensitive national-security controlled goods, a senior State Department official told reporters on a conference call, citing the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act.

"Following a 15-day Congressional notification period, these sanctions will take effect upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register, expected on or around August 22, 2018", the department continued.

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A State Department official said the first new sanctions would take effect in two weeks, including a broad ban on technology exports to Russian Federation.

Washington had already expelled dozens of Russian diplomats from the U.S. over the poisoning.

There would be exemptions for space flight activities as well as areas covering commercial passenger aviation safety, the official added.

Two more people, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, later came into contact with the lethal substance and were hospitalised.

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London and its allies have accused Moscow of trying to kill the Skripals and says the two cases are likely linked. The US still wants to maintain relations with Moscow, despite the new sanctions.

A State Department official denied that the actions undermined President Trump's continued assertions that he would like to improve relations with Russian Federation.

In response to the announcement, the Russian Embassy in the US issued a statement referring to "far-fetched accusations" and saying Russian officials had yet to hear any facts or evidence and that the USA had refused to answer questions.

Paul said the letter "emphasized the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges".

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The White House did not immediately send out a statement on the sanctions.

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